Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three

This is the third consecutive year Luanda has been placed at number one by Mercer

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The Independent Online

While Singapore is being hailed as the best place in the world for expatriates to live in, another new study has come up with the world’s most expensive cities for the same group of people.

Mercer’s annual Cost of Living survey places Luanda, Angola, as the most expensive city for expatriate employees, where a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre can set you back $3,500 per month, and a pair of jeans could reportedly cost you more than $240.

While it may come as a surprise that Luanda would trump Paris, New York or London, all of which frequently make the top three in lists of the most pricey cities, this is the third consecutive year Luanda has been placed at number one.

The reason for this has been attributed to Angola’s oil industry, which accounts for half of the country’s global GDP.


"As the global economy has become increasingly interconnected, close to 75% of multinational organizations are expecting long-term expatriate assignments to remain stable or increase over the next two years," said Ilya Bonic, President of Mercer’s Talent business. "Sending employees abroad is necessary to compete in markets and for critical talent."

The top 10 most expensive cities for expatriates are as follows:

1) Luanda, Angola

2) Hong Kong, China

3) Zurich, Switzerland

4) Singapore, Singapore

5) Geneva, Switzerland

6) Shanghai, China

7) Beijing, China

8) Seoul, South Korea

9) Bern, Switzerland

10) N'Djamena, Chad

A list by global consulting firm ECA International came up with a slightly different set of results, however Zurich and Luanda maintained their top-three spots.